Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Violence Against Women - #NOTokay

Links to more complete thinking below.


It is clear that it is simply unacceptable that women, in Canada, in 2014, find themselves in a state of vulnerability. Our justice system would do well to focus on eliminating violence in society; the challenge is we ask our police to attend to so many things that it is difficult to attend to this important concern.

When police are stretched so thin, we all have to learn to take care of ourselves, men and women alike.  While we need to work toward a society that is wholly respectful of women’s safety and wellbeing; in the interim there is a reality to deal with; there is a risk inherent in some areas of life for women. When my girls were young; I taught them to never walk alone, avoid being alone with one or more men, build a strong buddy system with their friends and generally be aware of their environment. This is teaching young women to take care of themselves; it is in no way acquiescence to the generalized state of barbarism that seems to exist in the societal subtext.

In his book the Anatomy of Power, John Kenneth Galbraith, speaks to the sources of power in society, he states that CONDITIONING is the most powerful of the sources of power. We live in a society that is in large measure directed by the Christian Narrative. The Christian Narrative holds a patriarchal bias and in some cases women are ridiculed by errant historical depictions. The destructive elements in traditional Christian teachings, or the misinterpretation  of Christ’s word, are being muted as we become generally more secular. The United Church and other progressive churches have helped to move us toward a more rational society which has fueled women’s progress.

The lingering affects of orthodoxy, the generalized suppression of healthy sexual dialog lays a cloak over the whole subject of human sexuality, and with that reality there comes a stifling environment where teaching young men and women about appropriate relations is difficult. The sexual revolution, spurred by secularism, has brought us closer the Christian ideal of peaceful human relations, because now, having “de-stigmatized” sexual relations to a large degree – people negatively affected can speak about what has happened, knowing they will be seen as the victim of wrongdoing. Much of the “shame” in victim-hood related to sexual assault emanates from the generalized suppression of sexual relations as exercised by many Christian organizations.  

We need to exercise caution in remedying the negative circumstance that does continue, yes we must teach compassion to young men, yes we need to exercise a culture of respect for women – we do however, have to be mindful of zealotry. People should never be convicted on hearsay, in the case of the two parliamentarians who were suspended; both were severely affected absent due process. It may be that they did do something wrong, what is required is the sober assessment of a Judge as opposed to a near “lynch mob” mentality. The men that inflict violence on women are bad men, we need to be cognizant that there are bad women too. We need to remember that in a world were accusations convict that we are replacing one vulnerability with another. DUE PROCESS PLEASE.

More Thinking on the VAW
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